by Francine Bethea
I keep five Corydoras barbatus, a pair of Ancistrus c.f. dilopterus and five Apistogramma ‘Rio Mamore’ in a 33 long. The décor consists of a very shallow layer of gravel, a few pieces of slate and a large piece of driftwood. The temperature is maintained at 78°. Filtration is barely handled by an AquaClear 200 with two sponges instead of the carbon pack. The pH is 6 and the hardness is negligible.
After a water change, I found eggs on the front and side glass of the tank. I prepared a 2.5-gallon tank with water from the parents’ tank. Using one of those plant plastic ID tags, I scrapped the eggs off the glass and placed them approximately in the same position on the glass of the 2.5. Next, I used an air stone to keep the water moving around the eggs. I did not use a fungicide. After 4 – 5 days, the fry were free swimming. Microworms were used as first food. The fry grew to half an inch in one month.
The C. barbatus spawned again three days after the first one. This time, I was fortunate to watch the spawning process take place. The pair secluded themselves in the area under the return of the filter. The female would go up to about 2" below the surface and start laying the eggs. Laying a few eggs at a time, the female would go back down to the male, who was hovering above the gravel. Once the pair was on the bottom together, the female wriggled her barbells at the male’s vent. The male would then swim up to where the eggs were laid and fertilize them. This process went on until the female was spent.
This article first appeared in PVAS’s Delta Tale, Vol 33, # 1